Will Apple Support RCS Messaging?

Now that more and more brands start to adopt RCS, it is time to look at the question:

Will Apple support RCS messaging, and what happens if it doesn’t?

When you watch our recent videos and read our latest blog posts, you will notice that we talk a lot about RCS messaging.

RCS (Rich Communication Services) is essentially a better text messaging protocol as it allows you to add rich media elements, such as buttons, chatbots, and high definition images to a message. This is makes it a great enhanced messaging solution for mobile marketers.

However, there is one important thing to keep in mind when we discuss RCS, which is the fact that, unlike Google and Android, Apple is not yet onboard when it comes to adopting the RCS messaging standard.

This is obviously a problem, because it means that Apple phones are not able to support RCS, and that they cannot receive any texts from this new messaging system.


When Apple Decides Not to Adopt the RCS Standard

A question we often hear is: Will Apple Support RCS Messaging in the future, and what will happen if it doesn’t?

In this blog post, we explain how Tatango, as a text message software provider, will react when Apple decides not to adopt the RCS messaging standard.

However, before we do that, we like to mention that the situation with Apple can go both ways, as the brand still needs to make a public statement about the direction in which it will go.

At this moment, we do know that Google and Android are already onboard, so there is always the possibility that Apple will adopt RCS as well.

With that being said, here is an example of how the situation will play out in the United States if things stay the same like they are right now.

For simplicity, we say in this example that Android and Apple both have a 50% market share in the USA. 50% of the consumers use an Android phone, and the other 50% use an Apple phone.

So what happens when a brand has, for example, 6 million text message campaign subscribers, and it wants to send an RCS promotional message to all the people on its list?


Two Phone Operating Systems, Two Differently Structured Messages

First of all, a brand always needs to make use of an SMS software provider, like for example Tatango, if it wants to send out any messages to consumers. That is a standard step in the text message marketing process.

However, in this this example, it is also necessary for the brand to query the messaging and phone operating systems from its 6 million campaign subscribers.

This means that before the message goes out, the software system will say something like: Okay, you want to send a message to 6 million subscribers. What kind of phones do these subscribers have?

This will all take place in the back end, so that the consumer will not notice anything of the querying/ phone recognizing process that takes place.

What the text message software provider then needs to do is take the information from the querying process, and use it to send the right kind of message to every subscriber on the brand’s list.

So if we are talking about a situation in which Apple does not supports RCS messaging, then the brand essentially needs to provide two separate text messaging experiences.

The first experience is one in which consumers receive an RCS message on their RCS enabled mobile phone, and the second experience is one in which Apple iOS users receive a different kind of message.

Keep in mind that the messages can still contain the same content, but they will both have a different structure. It depends on Apple how it wants that structure to look like on its mobile phones. It can be a custom made integration, or it can also just be a simple text message.

There are a lot of solutions that Apple can choose to implement, but a text sending brand essentially only needs to create two separate messaging experiences. It can then send out its messages, and then let its software provider handle the process of sending the right messages to the right phones.


What If Apple Decides to Support RCS Messaging?

The world will not end if Apple isn’t going to support RCS messaging. However, it will, of course, be a lot easier if the influential tech giant does decide to support RCS messaging, because then there will be a unified messaging standard across all handsets and wireless carriers.

This would be a really easy and convenient situation for brands and software providers, because it allows them to send one standard type of message to every subscriber, instead of having to create and send two separately structured texts.


The Future Will Tell

At this moment, only the future can tell us how the situation between Apple and RCS is going to play out, but we will, of course, keep you updated whenever there are any new developments surrounding any adoption of RCS by Apple and/or other organizations.


Learn More About RCS and Apple Business Chat

In the meantime, you can have a look at the following videos to learn more about the developments surrounding RCS, and also about Apple’s own enhanced messaging protocol, which goes by the name of Apple business chat.


Get in Contact with Tatango

If, after reading this article and watching the videos, you have any remaining questions regarding RCS and Apple’s future approach to it, then don’t hesitate to get in contact with us. Our team will be happy to answer all your text message marketing related inquiries.

Subscribe by Email

Subscribe to Tatango's SMS Marketing Blog to receive great SMS marketing content delivered right to your inbox.